Interviewing is challenging enough but in an era of social distancing, how best to evaluate candidates and still maintain proper distance can be difficult.
Increasingly the first and sometimes the second interview is conducted via phone or video conferencing but ultimately employers may want to see a candidate in the flesh. Some creativity may be required to find a place that is both suitable for interviewing and comfortable for both candidate and employer. Instead of coffee shops, employers are simply electing to meet outside – where they can evaluate candidate demeanor and still respect their space.
These same employers are going to have to start learning to ask questions about candidate behaviors to determine whether they think candidates are being careful with their health.
For instance, employers with a storefront may ask a candidate, “do you wear a mask when you enter a retail store?” This is an acceptable question to ask by retailers who require their employees to wear one.
Candidates who express bad judgment in social distancing not only put your employees and their future coworkers at risk of contamination, but this poor behavior may be indicative of other bad judgment calls they will make as employees. This line of questioning, when done correctly, mirrors practices already in place using such pre-employment screening methods as criminal background checks, driving history and credit checks are used to screen future behavior.
While asking a candidate whether they have been symptomatic would be disallowed because you’d be discriminating against a candidate based on a medical condition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance indicating that employers who choose to require COVID-19 testing for all employees as a condition of entering the workplace will be in compliance with ADA guidelines.